ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Minnesota farmer accused of selling grain falsely labeled as organic

James Clayton Wolf, 64, of Jeffers, a certified organic farmer in Cottonwood County, engaged in a scheme to defraud grain purchasers by selling them non-GMO grains falsely represented as organic, federal prosecutors say.

Gavel
We are part of The Trust Project.

MINNEAPOLIS — A southwest Minnesota farmer has been indicted for defrauding grain purchasers by selling non-GMO grains falsely labeled as organic, federal prosecutors say.

According to court documents, between 2014 and 2020, James Clayton Wolf, 64, of Jeffers, a certified organic farmer in Cottonwood County, engaged in a scheme to defraud grain purchasers by selling them non-GMO grains falsely represented as organic.

Wolf, who did not hold a legally required grain buyer’s license, repeatedly purchased non-organic corn and soybeans from a grain seller and resold the grain as organic product. As part of his scheme, Wolf also grew conventionally farmed crops using chemical fertilizers and pesticides, in violation of organic farming standards.

Wolf provided grain purchasers with copies of his National Organics Program certification but withheld the material fact that the grains were not organically farmed. As a result of his fraud scheme, Wolf received more than $46,000,000 in payments from grain buyers.

Wolf is charged with three counts of wire fraud. He will make his initial appearance in U.S. District Court before Magistrate Judge David T. Schultz on July 22, the office of U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger said in a new release.

ADVERTISEMENT

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Inspector General and the FBI.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert M. Lewis is prosecuting the case.

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "staff." Often, the "staff" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.
What To Read Next
Iowa-based Summit Carbon Solutions says its pipeline project will help ethanol plants. The project aims to capture greenhouse gas emissions and pipe the CO2 to western North Dakota for underground storage.
The number of cows going to slaughter is far above the five-year average. Attendees of the annual Cow Calf Days tour in Minnesota heard the latest on cattle trends.
As Mikkel Pates approaches his retirement from Agweek after 44 years in journalism, he talks to Rose Dunn about learning TV, covering ag's characters and scandals and looking toward the future.
Members Only
“In our industry there aren’t a lot of young people in it. I like the fact that there are a lot of young people in agriculture here,” he said of the Mitchell area.